We all know someone who is eternally broken. Languishing in a pool of despair only she can see, we know her well, and we honor her often in our absence.
She’s focused so often on the wounds that now she gazes at them as if any sign of healing is a miracle. Perhaps she’s picked at them for so long that the scab brings wonder. Perhaps she’s grown to love them so much that she now challenges them with the same sordid acts of contrition she demands of any other lover.
You know those acts well. You’ve used them in various states of your life. The endless descriptions of every tiny fleck of dried blood falling away. The countless words used to describe the miracle of an unanswered itch, of the one-time-in-a-million when she disciplined herself not to scratch.
You know she’s not healing at all. Much like a baby in the womb pretending to breathe, she is pretending to heal. Her smile is a fake one, her joy an act she’s learned to practice throughout the years. You know she’s spinning her wheels in the mud, and although you hope with all your might for traction, you know her rubber is certainly nowhere near the road.
In your love you allow it, but in your mind you’ve stopped listening. You know that when she finally finds the bedrock lying at rock-bottom that her wheels will take hold and she will be, finally, moving. The bedrock, that wonderful place at the lowest spot of your experience, is rough for a reason. You can’t slide on the gravelly plain, and you find all the traction you need to finally begin building the rest of your life. Your feet and hands find all kinds of holds, and you will not slip because there is nowhere left to go.
Yes, rock-bottom is a wonderful place I no longer fear. I visit there often if for no other reason that the Sun looks brighter, and the air is so clear that breathing becomes effortless. It’s awesome how light you feel when you have nothing left to lose.
The Never Healed fear that place. She loves her scars, her wounds, her open places of suffering. She only knows herself as them, and they keep her from knowing the truth of who she is. Lying naked on the rock-bottom you can’t help but see yourself. Much like sky diving it’s scary until you’ve done it. Then, somehow, you love your nakedness, and the way the Sun feels on those places you once hid from view. You stop loving the white-lined proof of your painful past and begin loving the warmed flesh around them. You stop seeing the dark skies and find the stars that darkness allows you to see. You stop talking, and in that stilled silence you find the beautiful music that was always around you.
That’s why the Never Healed saddens me so. All the pretending and iteration drives me mad. Silence…I desperately need silence from you. Not because your words are so insanely maddening that I want to scream, but because silence is the sound that bears the most wonderful fruit. I have no need to hear how wonderful your dance is, I simply need to see it and, one day, dance with you.
I do love her in my own special way even if I need to distance myself from all of the kicking and splashing she’s doing to prove herself worthy of my attention. I want to tell her that thrashing about is not swimming, and that she’s never going to get to the shore that way. I want to tell her that all of the energy she is wasting fluffing her feathers would be better spent plucking them away. I want to tell her to shut the fuck up, and that the healing is not about the story. The story is about the healing, and it is one that sometimes takes forever to write. I don’t want to read an unfinished story where the cliffhanger ends in the middle of a misspelled word.
I don’t say a thing. I just sit and read and listen and curse my patient mind. Actually, I laugh at it. I once saw her as a starving person whose Universe gave a plate of food. All she could do is pick through it, looking for the bones to choke on, all the while complaining about how hungry she is.
Ah, well. We’ve all been the Never Healed at some time in our lives. We’ve all been so blind that we need to describe how wonderful the landscape is even as we run into every wall we’ve created. We are, in essence, them and they are, forever, us. We shy away from getting wet as they thrash about, and we curse our ears in the words they use not because we are healed ourselves, but because, at some depth of understanding, they remind us of who we are. We are all scarred, we are all storytellers, we are all desperately searching for something. We are, often, nothing more than the weakest parts of us hoping that, one day, we will be something more.
Once again, I’ve hit myself on the bedrock of my life. Oddly, this place doesn’t create scars, it heals them. I’ve left my clothes somewhere, up there, and I have no desire to find them. I just want to lay here, for a minute, and bask in the pleasure of this place and know, too, that there is something awesome about being Never Healed.
Laugh with me, please. Or at least stop crying. 🙂